When:  Third Thursdays; October 2015 to May 2016  (See specific dates below)

Where:  Country Bookshelf, 28 W. Main 

Discussion leader: Ariana Paliobagis, owner of the Country Bookshelf and an avid mystery reader, is a Montana native who received both a BA and an MA in English from MSU.

Registration not required: Free to Wonderlust members

Participants must acquire their own books. They are available through Country Bookshelf, other retailers, and possibly your local library. 


In this book discussion series we will read classic mystery and detective novels to look at the beginnings of what is currently one of the most popular and widely-read literary genres. We’ll focus on classic and influential British and American authors, those who inspired all the rest. In the first session we’ll read the undisputed first masters, Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. Then we’ll move on to the greats of the first half of the twentieth century. As you read each month, pay attention to plot, language, style, characters,themes, and the burgeoning development of sub-genre characteristics such as locked- room mysteries, police procedural, amateur sleuths, crime, hard-boiled, noir, and psychological suspense.

Come prepared for lively discussions!


Oct. 15: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

by Arthur Conan Doyle (Suggested: at least the first three stories.)

Nov. 19: The Moonstone

by Wilkie Collins

Jan. 21: The Leavenworth Case

by Anna Katharine Green

Feb. 18: And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

March 17: Resorting to Murder

Holiday Mysteries

edited by Martin Edwards

April 21: Strong Poison

by Dorothy Sayers

May 19: The Big Sleep

by Raymond Chandler


Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In January Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on January 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust